Even during dry conditions, extreme storms can take us by surprise. Here are some ways to help your outdoor space weather those storms, before and after.
You’ve spent all spring planting a beautiful garden, so make sure you protect your hard work from summer storm damage. The harsh winds, rain, lightning, and hail of summer storms have the potential to seriously damage your garden if you don’t take necessary precautions. Use these tips to weatherproof your garden.
1. Get rid of dead branches
Not only do you want to clear already fallen branches from the yard, but you also want to regularly inspect your trees for branches that are ready to fall. The heavy winds (and even hail) of a summer storm can blow these branches off the trees and into your garden.
Regularly pruning your trees is a good idea. The weakest branches can become a hazard during high winds. If you have any new trees, tether them so the wind doesn’t uproot them.
2. Put down mulch
The heavy rainfall that comes with a thunderstorm can wash away the soil in your garden, especially if the area has been newly planted and the soil is still loose. A layer of mulch will protect the soil from washing away in the storm, and as a bonus, keeps moisture in your flower beds during the dry, hot parts of summer, too.
3. Cover new plants
Keep watch of the weather so you can protect your new plants when a storm is on the radar. Storms are especially hard on new plants. Enough rain can wash them right out of the soil.
You can invest in row covers or simply use your favorite plant covering method. A tarp will work if you have nothing else. Just remember to remove everything when the storm is over so those new plants can keep growing!
4. Ensure proper drainage
To protect your hardscaping and your flower beds from water, you’ll want to make sure that all drains are cleared in all non-permeable spaces, and see to proper drainage in general through out. Some kind of drainage plan to keep water from collecting disproportionately, particularly if your foundation is too close to it, is vital during torrential rains.
The main goal of drainage is to keep water away from the house. By sloping your gardens and paved areas, you keep water from pooling near your foundation. This in turn protects your interiors, too. At very least, checking to make sure that all drains on site aren’t clogged is paramount to your success.
5. Store equipment under cover
Not only is leaving your gardening equipment outside bad for the equipment, but it’s potentially dangerous for your plants, too. Imagine the wind blowing a propped up rake or shovel over into your new flower beds! Keep everything in the basement, the garage, or in a good garden shed.
6. Maintain healthy plants
Regularly prune dying leaves and stems from your plants. If you have any fruiting plants, keep surrounding areas clean of fallen fruit, and make a point to check your plants for ripe fruit. Heavy wind and rain can blow fruits, dead stems, and leaves from your plants, which may damage nearby plants.
Keep your ear to the ground
Pay attention to the weather so you can take action before a storm hits. You’ll have a better time protecting your plants if you know what’s coming. Extreme summer storms are rough on landscaping, but by taking these steps now you can prevent significant damage to your garden and your backyard in general.